WATCHING THE MIND – PART 3
If you have already read or watched the ‘Watching the mind – Part 1’ and ‘Watching the mind – Part 2’ exercise that is fantastic. If you haven’t you really need to do that before you practice Part 3 of the exercise.
In this video we are leading a small group of people through stage one of the ‘watching the mind’ exercise that was described in Parts 1 and 2, then we’ll lead the group into the next stage - stage two. As we lead the participants through stage one of the exercise they will close their eyes, watch and count the thoughts. We will check in with them, see what they experienced, and then we’ll lead them into this new stage of the exercise.
So, we invite you to join in. Sit back and close your eyes for a minute or so, and gently observe and count the thoughts that you become aware of.
How many thoughts did you count? Once again, it doesn’t matter how many thoughts pass through our awareness – it’s a function of the state of our mind and body whenever we close our eyes to observe. By watching and counting, we create space between us, and the thoughts. We are able to observe the thoughts from a still expansive space that is always there.
The second stage of the exercise involves closing our eyes and very gently observing. This time we won’t count the thoughts, but instead we will gently close our eyes and watch, and be fascinated with what we notice. All we need to do is be very gentle in our approach to observing and being aware. We don’t need to count this time.
So rest back, there is nothing to do but very gently observe, and watch, and notice for about a minute.
Did you notice lots of thoughts or just a few? Did you notice that by observing and allowing what was unfolding, regardless of whether there were lots of thoughts or not, that you experienced peace and calm?
This simple two-step exercise can lead us from the busyness of the day where we can become caught up in intense thinking, to an opportunity to create peace – all by resting back and observing. We can be aware of the sounds around us, or the thoughts moving, but we can be unaffected by them. We can observe and watch as it all unfolds. A couple of minutes of this two-step approach can change our whole approach to the day and it can change our mood. It is important to start the exercise by watching and counting – this phase allows us to de-personalize the thoughts and effortlessly interrupt the tendency of our mind to identify with the content of the thoughts. It creates space to allow us to continue to observe without counting.